In this blog post we’re going to dive into some of the best golf courses in St George.
This fascinating city in the state of Utah, has slowly but surely grown into a must-visit golf destination.
Easily overlooked for the gaming epicenters of Las Vegas and Mesquite, St George is doing its utmost to rival them in quality of golf on offer. And boy is it getting there.
Only a couple of hours drive up the I-90 from Las Vegas, the city is nestled in the Mojave Desert and the red rock wonders of the Zion National Park.
This makes the city a haven for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the breathtaking landscapes. It is these same landscapes which house an incredible array of outstanding golf courses.
This American Southwest city also has a chilled out vibe, which can sometimes be sorely missing in the likes of Vegas and other similar cities. I couldn’t recommend it more.
Before jumping into the golf courses, let me stress, ANY of the courses you play here on this list, are top class. You will not be disappointed with any of these and on a different day, this list could also be very different.
The best public golf courses in St George, Utah
|1||Championship Course (Sand Hollow Resort)|
|2||Black Desert Golf Course|
|3||Copper Rock Golf Course|
|4||Entrada at Snow Canyon*|
|5||Sunbrook Golf Course|
|6||Coral Canyon Golf Course|
|7||Sky Mountain Golf Course|
|8||The Ledges of St George|
|9||SunRiver Golf Club|
|10||Green Spring Golf Course|
|Value for money||Sky Mountain Golf Course|
|Groups||Sunbrook Golf Course|
|Clubhouse||The Ledges of Saint George|
|Views||Championship Course (Sand Hollow Resort)|
1. Sand Hollow Resort (Championship Course)
We kick off this list of best public golf courses in St George, with the outstanding Championship Course at Sand Hollow Golf Resort.
Considered to be the number 1 public golf facility in the city, and arguably the best golf course in Utah, this is some place to come and play.
The resort is located a twenty-five minute drive to the east of the city. Even on the drive you know you are going someplace special. In the distance you see the towering red rocks and coral sand dunes.
Alongside the Championship Course, there is a shorter 9-hole Links Course, which is great fun. But the John Fought designed Championship Course is the main attraction.
It opened in 2008 and was carved out of the native red sand. This is desert golf at its finest.
Fought, who was assisted by Andy Staples in the project, had a huge plot of land to play with. This ensured he was able to pick out the perfect routing and desired topography for maximum impact for each hole.
The front-nine is technical and aside from a couple of holes, is relatively flat. It is on the back-nine where the course really opens up, with some spectacular views and stunning holes. Holes 11 through to 15 are simply magnificent and a camera still won’t do it justice.
Huge elevation changes, undulating fairways running alongside dramatic bluffs, tee shots over canyons…this course has it all. I would be selective about which tee box you play off though, if not it could be a long afternoon.
Every now and again you come across a course which simply has to be added to the bucket list. The Championship Course at St George is one of them.
2. Black Desert Course
One of the newest golf courses in St George, could this rival the Championship Course at Sand Hollow for the number 1 spot?
Who knows. What we do know though is that the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole Black Desert Golf Course is simply spectacular.
It is a ten minute drive northwest out of the city, so easily accessible for people staying downtown.
For starters the landscape is mind-blowing and it quickly becomes apparent why it has the name Black Desert.
With the backdrop of the familiar red rock mountains, the routing is carved through ancient black lava fields. The contrast of the emerald green fairways and jet black lava rocks creates a unique and sumptuous setting.
But rest assured, this is not only a special setting. It is also a fantastic layout. So much so, the course has already been coveted by both the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour for high profile tournaments.
From the back tees, the yardage falls just shy of 7,300. And although there aren’t majestic elevation changes like elsewhere in St George, most fairways feature constant undulations and movement.
Hitting the fairway is important, although with most fairways 70 to 100 yards wide, you can keep the driver out. As part of Weiskopf’s risk/reward design principles, there are a couple of drivable par-4s, these being the 5th and 14th holes.
A very new addition to the St George golfing scene. But one which will only elevate this destination’s reputation as one of the upcoming places to play golf in the United States.
3. Copper Rock Golf Course
Just south of Hurricane, a half hour’s drive from St George, is where you’ll find Copper Rock Golf Course.
Yet another relatively new golf course in this golfing mecca, Copper Rock opened to huge acclaim in 2019.
So surely this is the work of a mainstream architect? Actually no. It was the work of the relatively unknown Dale Beddo who has precious few courses in his name.
In fact Copper Rock was his first solo outing, although you could never tell. Simply put, the layout at Copper Rock is outstanding.
Clearly it helps that the canvas Beddo had to play with is stunning. A large plot of sand dunes and rustic sandstone formations with sweeping vistas of the Pine Valley Mountains and the Hurricane Cliffs.
There is plenty of elevation and enough variety to keep you entertained until the 18th green. What you will notice are bunkers, and lots of them. In fact the Nicklaus Design-esque contoured bunkers create a consistent feature throughout.
In fact, Beddo attributes many of the design elements as being influenced by higher end resorts and golf courses.
Worth knowing that the course is part of a larger master-planned development. So although, at the time of writing, you’re able to enjoy being ‘out in the wild’, time will tell how further construction influences the landscape surrounding the course.
4. Entrada at Snow Canyon
Ok, I can hear you already, “Entrada at Snow Canyon is private and member-only!” Yes, very true. But, stay at the onsite hotel, The Inn at Entrada, and you’ll be welcomed onto the course.
This is why I’ve included Entrada as an asterisk, or caveat if you like. But if you want to play the best golf courses in St George, you would be missing a trick not to consider here.
It originally opened in 1996 and immediately built up a reputation as one of the finest luxury resorts and private country clubs in Utah.
Nestled up in the hills to the northwest of St George, the course is routed through some of the most stunning landscape. Ancient black lava rocks and wild desert arroyos accompany you through your golfing endeavor.
Being part of an upscale retirement community, there are on occasion a number of residences lining fairways. But there are enough fairways free of housing and the design is sleek enough not to encroach or create a negative impact.
More recently, David McLay Kidd oversaw a transformational seven million dollar renovation. Alongside key infrastructure like draining and irrigation, nearly every tee box and bunker was repositioned, fairways were recontoured and putting surfaces redesigned.
This expansive renovation project has once again positioned Entrada at the forefront of golf in St George. It is also one of the few links-style experiences, where golfers are encouraged to find creative ways to run the ball across the ground.
Treat yourself, stay a night or two at the superb Inn at Entrada, and get out on this wonderful course.
5. Sunbrook Golf Course
As far as municipal courses go, Sunbrook Golf Club is right up there as one of the best. Offering 27 holes of championship golf, this is a superb option.
One of the closest courses to the city, you can be here in just over ten minutes. It would be far less if you didn’t have to circumvent the airport!
The highly respected Ted Robinson was responsible for the original 18-hole layout which consists of the Pointe and Woodbridge nines.
It was one of the first golf courses in St George, and upon opening in 1990, it received huge acclaim. So much so, Golf Digest twice rated it as the best golf course in Utah whilst it was also considered one of the best municipal courses in the country.
Over time its reputation has eroded slightly, not because the course has fallen into disrepair. Just the fact that so many other high caliber courses have opened since then. But rest assured, Sunbrook still remains one of the best value courses in the city.
In 1997 John Harbottle was commissioned to design the additional 9-holes, called Blackrock. Unlike many other golf courses which have a clear favorite 18-holes, at Sunbrook you could honestly play any combination without sacrificing the quality.
The Pointe nine is more traditional in style, playing out into the desert along plateaus and canyons. The Woodbridge is arguably the most challenging, with intense elevation changes and more tree-lined. It also features the signature island green.
Lastly, the more recent Blackrock cuts through ancient lava fields and crosses the Santa Clara River.
This is top class golf and all the more so for a municipally-owned facility.
6. Coral Canyon Golf Course
As part of the golf expansion in St George during the late nineties and early noughties, Coral Canyon Golf Course arrived on the scene in 2001. Not one of the early pioneers, but definitely one of the earlier arrivals.
The club is located in Washington, between St George and Hurricane. Just under ten miles from downtown St George, you’ll be there in around fifteen minutes.
It was designed by the hugely admired Keith Foster whose influence on many great courses is undeniable. The likes of Philadelphia Cricket Club, Eastward Ho! Colonial Country Club and Southern Hills in Tulsa to name but a few.
Here at Coral Canyon, Foster has designed a beautiful layout, which encapsulates everything about what makes St George a great place to come and play golf.
Throughout the round you’ll enjoy magnificent views and impressive red rock formations endemic to this area.
A classic desert style layout, you’ll find many carries over desert washes and arroyos. Whilst elevation changes are a constant feature, you’ll certainly want to hire a cart.
There is a stretch of holes where residential developments are clearly visible alongside the fairways. But a large part of the routing takes you out into the isolated rocky terrain.
7. Sky Mountain Golf Course
Yet another golf course over in Hurricane, Sky Mountain Golf Course is a popular choice with the locals.
The club is located just five minutes north of Hurricane and a twenty five minute drive northeast from St George.
Much like many of the courses on this list, Sky Mountain benefits from a lofty site offering scenic views of the surrounding landscape. There are very few golf courses which will offer more stunning mountain views.
Opening in 1994, the layout was designed by Jeff Hardin. Ever since then, it has been recognised as one of the better courses in the state of Utah.
What ensures Sky Mountain is so highly appreciated, is the fact it keeps its green fees very affordable. This is in stark contrast to some of the newer, more high profile golf courses opening near St George in recent times.
Alongside this, you can’t help notice the fact everything is done well. The course conditioning is very good. The views are sensational. The routing is fun without being too challenging and divisive.
What is noticeable though, is the distinct lack of bunkers. But don’t let this take away from a really well designed layout. The clubhouse is very modest so if you’re a larger group, you might want to plan accordingly.
8. The Ledges of St George
The Ledges of St George is a really interesting proposition and one which could be ranked so much higher than it actually is.
High quality, upscale St George golf course? Tick. Great conditioning and maintenance? Tick. Magnificent panoramic views? Tick. Recognised designer? Tick. So why is it not higher in the list?
Well, first things first, we need to appreciate the quality of the other courses on this list. There are some seriously epic golf courses already listed. Being tucked up behind them is nothing to be disappointed by!
Secondly, and probably most importantly, The Ledges is a tale of two halves. Or two nines to be specific.
But before we get to that, a bit about the club. Aside from the facilities up in Hurricane, this is probably one of the furthest away from downtown St George. A fifteen to twenty minute drive north up into the Snow Canyon State Park.
The course forms part of a much larger development which offers real estate options, vacation rentals and numerous activities for guests. This is a luxury and upscale development.
The golf course was designed by Matt Dye, the son of the legendary Pete Dye. This award-winning layout opened in 2006 and has consistently been recognised as one of the finest options in St George.
So the design. Well for starters, let me stress that neither is poor. It’s just the fact that the back nine eclipses the front nine.
Where the front nine features open, relatively flat fairways, the back nine is simply spectacular. Huge elevation changes, awe-inspiring views and challenging strategic golf. Whereas the front nine is links-like where the prevailing winds can play havoc with your game.
All-in-all though, this is still a genuinely class act and a course you’ll more than happily come and play. To top things off, it has arguably one of the best clubhouses in the area.
9. SunRiver Golf Club
Just to the south of St George in the Bloomington neighborhood, is SunRiver Golf Club.
Hidden away in the heart of a retirement community, it takes just ten minutes from downtown St George to get here.
This desert-style layout opened in 2000 and was designed by William Neff. Although more than half of the course was rebuilt in 2005, following a major flood which washed away twelve holes!
The club doesn’t have the same reputation as some of the other high profile golf courses near St George. But in a way, this works in SunRiver’s favor. The atmosphere is relaxed and very laid back. Maybe that’s the influence of the retirement community. But it works.
The front nine of this 7,020 yard layout is relatively flat, with a huge lake coming into play for the last three holes, 7, 8 and 9.
It is on the back nine where the topography starts to get more challenging and the layout starts to ask a few more questions. Granted you have some beautiful views but you also have more elevation and tricky shots to contend with.
Where you’re unlikely to lose a ball on the front nine, the back nine offers far more chances of doing so!
Being so close to the city and offering quite affordable rates, SunRiver Golf Club is a great option when visiting St George on a golf vacation. And with Guru’s Sports Bar & Grill within the clubhouse, you’ll enjoy having a few cold ones after playing.
10. Green Spring Golf Course
Here is a course which constantly flies under the radar and never gets any of the acclaim. Essentially, Green Spring Golf Course is as good a hidden gem as you’ll get in the St George area.
This was one of the first public golf courses in St George, opening back in 1989. There were a few already existing golf courses. But Green Spring was the first to really take a big step up in quality.
The Gene Bates design was the first to really encapsulate what makes golf courses in this part of southern Utah so popular. Red rock formations, desert landscapes, a mixture of natural springs and wetlands, and of course gorgeous views.
Over the following years, pretty much every golf course above Green Spring on this list was built and started to slowly but surely take the limelight away. But that doesn’t mean Green Spring Golf Course is not worth the visit.
Quite the opposite. This is a great choice for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it is just a five minute drive from central St George. Secondly, it is competitively priced. Thirdly, the course is beautiful. And lastly, it is a fantastic layout with some top class holes.
These include the par 3 fifth over a canyon, followed immediately by the par 4 sixth. Both are signature holes for not just Green Spring, but for the whole area.
What is the best golf course in St George, Utah?
The best golf course in St George, Utah, is the Championship Course at Sand Hollow Resort. Consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in the state of Utah, it was designed by John Fought and opened in 2008. From downtown St George, it is approximately a 25 minute drive.